Did you know that harmful chemicals have been found in 25% of kids’ toys? Read here to learn how to keep your kids safe from cancer-causing chemicals in their toys.
by Mackenzie J.
As parents, it’s our number one job to keep our kids safe and healthy. We are their advocate in life and our role is to nurture them and ensure that they are protected. This duty extends into playtime and making sure that the toys we provide them with won’t cause future harm to their health.
Did you know that harmful chemicals have been found in 25% of kids’ toys? Keep reading to learn about the dangers of children’s toys and how to prevent a potential childhood cancer diagnosis by selecting the right toys.
In recent years, asbestos has been discovered in various children’s toys after they’ve been put on the shelves for consumers. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for certain if a toy contains asbestos unless specifically tested for it. For example, in 2007 asbestos was found in the powder of a play CSI kit made for children. Asbestos has also been found in crayons, which are meant to be a safe playtime essential.
Asbestos exposure poses a huge risk to children as asbestos cancers can take a while for symptoms to present. Mesothelioma cancer, for example, has a latency period of 10-50 years after initial exposure. This means that if a child is exposed in kindergarten, they may not know they have cancer until decades later. Alternatively, the average life expectancy of mesothelioma is 18-31 months after diagnosis. Because of this, it’s crucial to do everything possible to prevent asbestos exposure to limit the chances of a mesothelioma diagnosis later in life.
The majority of kids’ toys these days are made with some form of plastic. In fact, most consumer goods are made with plastic, so it’s no wonder that microplastics have been found in human blood. Plastics often contain chemical additives that give the material hardness or elasticity. These harsh chemicals have been linked to cancer and reproductive issues.
The most common chemical found in plastic is known as phthalates, a chemical that makes plastic products more durable. Unfortunately, this means that it’s found in plastic toys made for children. Studies show that there is a correlation between phthalate exposure and childhood cancer diagnoses. There is a link to childhood cancers such as lymphoma and osteosarcoma. Toy labels are not required to specify the chemicals that the plastic could contain, so there is no certain way to know if a toy is free of cancer-causing chemicals.
Kids, especially toddlers and infants, love to put their toys in their mouths. It’s inevitable. However, it’s crucial to keep an eye on children during playtime to avoid choking hazards and prevent them from putting toys potentially made with hazardous materials in their mouths.
When toys are not played with correctly it creates a higher risk of exposure to chemicals and the potential for chemicals to enter the body. Pay attention to the recommended age of children’s toys and follow the guidelines. If you’re a stay-at-home parent but can’t always keep a close eye on your children, consider hiring a teen from your neighborhood to keep an eye on the kids while you’re nearby.
For Independent Playtime, keep toys age-appropriate and safe for play.
The most reliable way to protect your children from harmful chemicals in toys is to switch to buying naturally made or organic products, such as wooden toys. The benefits of wooden toys outweigh those of plastic toys. Wood toys are made of a natural, nontoxic resource that is more durable than plastic. Wooden or organic toys may be a bit more of an investment, but they are worth it to help prevent serious health complications in your kids.
If you’re unable to buy brand new natural toys, consider joining a mom group where gently used toys are passed down or check local garage sales. Just be sure to thoroughly disinfect the toys first with a natural cleaning solution.
In addition to natural toys for playtime, you may also want to consider using natural products in your baby’s bedroom to keep them safe from the get-go. What are some ways you plan to help protect your children during playtime and beyond?